Legal expert weighs in following verbal assault on Wolff

A verbal attack on Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff last weekend at an H-E-B — the second time he’s been confronted in a store over his support for local mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19 — elicited concerns for public officials’ safety.

Unlike the prior incident, which occurred in a Lowe’s in June 2020, the recent one was recorded and posted on Instagram by the instigator, who followed and berated Wolff from inside the grocery store to his car.

But while the video prompted mostly reproach with some characterizing the episode as harassment and even stalking, a law school instructor specializing in criminal law said such behavior is within legal limits and that police are right to take a cautious approach. Doing so, she said, is in the community’s long-term interest.

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“I wouldn’t charge it,” said Donna Coltharp of St. Mary’s University School of Law, who reviewed the video with the San Antonio Express-News.

In the video, a woman who identifies herself on social media as Ashley Rocks chastised Wolff for about three minutes as he pushed a cart to his vehicle on Sept. 5 at a North Side H-E-B.

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